Ayşegül Terzi – 23 years old. Nurse.
On the 12th of September morning, she takes a public bus after working night shift at the hospital she is employed at. She is watching outside from the side mirror as she is clearing her mind with the music she listens to through her headphones. (Like we all do…)
Abdullah Çakıroğlu – 35 year old. Security guard.
Since it is the first day of “Kurban Bayramı – Feast of Sacrifice” he is on the same bus going to a destination to meet up with his elders for holiday celebration.
Until this point everything is normal… Everything changes when Abdullah spots Ayşegül standing at the back of the bus by herself. He bolts from his seat screaming ” This devil must die, it has no right to be alive” and kicks Ayşegül down to the bus floor. Continues stomping on her until 3 people intervene and takes her off the bus. Rest of the people in the bus just watch.
Abdullah Çakıroğlu sits down and tells the driver why he has attacked the Nurse.
“Because she was wearing shorts.”
Five days later Turkish police arrests Abdullah Çakıroğlu after Ayşegül’s family pressures officials. Sixteen hours later he is released due to prior mental(!) illnesses. As he is taken out of the police station, he has a huge smile on his face.
The Turkish public pushes back and as a result of the public pressure he is arrested again. The police question him again. The following paragraph is written on the official report as his statement.
“This is what I want from our country. Our constitution should be based on primarily on Islam. Even if someone claims that they are non-Muslim they should dress in a manner that they won’t offend or neglect our Islamic values. I don’t want to say anything else. I’ve received psychologic treatment before. I’m a healthy individual now. I only acted on the overflowing of my spiritual feelings. Islamic Law dictates that women wearing sexy clothing should be whipped. The least that can be done is to make them pay a monetary penalty. They are messing with our mental and spiritual chemistry. I’m fasting for 4 years and because of these kind of people I can not turn myself to “life to come” (meaning spiritual ways of living). I am unable to live peacefully with my religion. Non-Muslims should be toned down to a standard. If they are not regulated and if no precautions are taken; we will go further away from our religion. People are being demonized and lust happens. Because of this we cannot live our Muslimhood. We want our government to recognize Islam as the official Religion.”
Although he is clearly not in a healthy state of mind; he is not the only one who thinks this way.
I myself try to empathize with everyone. I try to put myself in their shoes even if I don’t agree with a person’s ideas, just to find out the reason for their actions.
This time … I just couldn’t.
But try to put yourself into my shoes now and analyze this.
As an individual who belongs to a Non-Muslim religious minority in Turkey, I strongly object to the idea of being toned down, regulated, being ruled by an Islamic religious governmental system.
Now try to put yourself into Ayşegül’s shoes….